Sleeping on our chiro tables for a good cause

The whirlwind of the end of the quarter has set in! Thank goodness I’m not taking boards yet! Lately it seems like my life has been dominated by presentations.

First my group presented on osteoporosis in our chiropractic clinical evaluation class. Then I gave my SPEAK presentation last week, “Chiropractic Care for Runners.” This was a 10-minute talk in front of peers talking about chiropractic and answering questions in preparation for eventually going out into the community to talk about chiropractic care and encouraging people to seek care in our clinic here at Palmer. It was challenging to sum up this huge profession in 10 minutes, and I talked so fast! It’s very motivating to participate in this club.

As Campus Guides we are required to be SPEAK certified, but now I look forward to being able to refine my communication skills and give my talk again. I’ve also been doing mini health talks for athletes on the cross-country team I coach and their parents. It’s fun to talk about nutrition and other health topics with them. Too often in chiropractic school, we get used to talking to people with the same level of understanding as us—so it’s great to keep in mind what the knowledge base of our patients will be!

On another note, I’m pumped to participate with Sports Council as part of the sports medical staff for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk in San Francisco this weekend! These women will be walking 60 miles in three days raising money for breast cancer research. We will help keep them in one piece and get them across the finish line! Early mornings and sleeping in the med tent on our chiro tables awaits, but it is bound to be a rewarding and educational experience!

Tomilyn Thornberry
4th quarter student, West Campus

Questions about boards? Ask away!

This quarter has flown by. For those who have never been on a quarter system before, it is quite the change. The semester schedule seems to drag on and take forever. With the quarter schedule you start school and get used to the new schedule for about two weeks. Then, before you know it, there are several weeks of midterms. Then you move right into finals. The quarters are great because they go by so fast—and they are really the perfect amount of time to get through a subject.

In several weeks we have boards, which occur for Palmer’s West Campus after lab finals but before lecture finals. The process of studying for boards really occurs while in school because lots of the material we cover throughout our courses. There is time outside of school that needs to be put into studying for boards to do well, but all of the studying is manageable.

With all the school, outside activities, and studying for boards, it seems like a lot. But everyone seems to be able to get through these busy quarters. I might add that there is a lot of coffee consumption! However, we seem to make it through the busy testing times.

In total we have Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, PT, and Part 4 boards. All of the parts except Part 4 are multiple choice only. The first time we come across boards is in our 6th and 7th quarters, and that depends upon the term in which you enroll (Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall). Boards come around about every 6 months after that until we graduate. The boards are important because to be able to receive your license as a doctor and to practice you need to pass all the above parts of boards.

If anyone has any questions about the boards process, I would be happy to answer them. You can e-mail me via the Campus Guides e-mail address, campusguides.ca@palmer.edu. I have only taken Part 1 at this point and am soon to be taking PTs.

However, if there are questions to which I do not know the answer, I can ask other students. I am blogging about boards only because it seems to be a hidden topic that some don’t know too much about until they are facing them.

Nichelle Francavilla
8th quarter student, West Campus

It’s getting exciting!

With my 12th quarter winding down, life is getting pretty exciting! I finished my clinic credits a few weeks ago, so now I am just wrapping up loose ends for graduation and shadowing different doctors in the community. I’m getting super excited to start my 13th quarter preceptor field training program! I was fortunate enough to land a spot with Dr. Brant Pedersen in Los Gatos, Calif. He is a graduate of Palmer’s West Campus, and he was actually one of the first Campus Guides here.

In fact, as I write this blog I am en route (I am not driving!) to a Sports Council event where Dr. Pedersen is the supervising clinician: The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk! This is, in my opinion, hands down the best Sports Council event we do all year!

As the Sports Med team, Palmer brings around 35 student interns and observers to provide around-the-clock complimentary care to the hundreds of participants walking through San Francisco. We treat all day, both on-course throughout the Bay and at the main camp on Treasure Island. One of our treatment pit stops on-course is actually at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge!

When night finally rolls around, we roll out our sleeping bags to snooze on our chiropractic tables. Then we wake up early and do it all again. It’s a weekend of hard work and long days, but it is totally worth it! The women (and a few men) appreciate our help so incredibly much that even our burliest guys are brought to tears by the end of the event.

This is a great educational experience for us as students and an amazing way to give back to the community. If I only came to Palmer for this experience, it would make my choice to come here totally worth it!

Kayleigh Knudson
12th quarter student, West Campus

Keeping profit in perspective

Today in philosophy class, Dr. Sorgenfrey (the extremities adjusting professor) shared about his experience starting in practice after he graduated. He noted that there are many chiropractic seminars and magazine articles dedicated to helping the practicing chiropractor “get paid.” But, he asked us, isn’t our time and brain power better focused on best patient care and helping people stay healthy?

As I look ahead to graduation in February (2013)—Woot! Woot!—it’s good to be reminded not to get swept up in the entrepreneurial worries. It’s good to keep things in perspective. Present-time consciousness, being thorough, and keeping the end goal in mind (people’s health)­—these are the things I’ll focus on the most.

I’m realizing that in this, as in other higher principles, one needs a little help and community encouragement to keep the main thing the main thing. Fortunately for me, my soon-to-be wife is a passionate chiropractor! I think we’ll keep each other focused. Here’s hopin’.

Vito Spadafino
9th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Helen and Christine: Palmer staffers supreme

Helen Cruz and Christine Beaudry: Two names you probably haven’t heard – but you will know them well once you come to Palmer!

Helen Cruz is on the security team at Palmer, and she “holds down the fort” in the parking lot at the Academic Health Center (AHC). Helen is always here to brighten our days. Her spirit glows like a candle! I just walked by her today, and she gave me a hug! I commented on the humidity today, and she said her hair is getting frizzy because of it, and we laughed. Then she told me she loved me. This took me by surprise. I remember thinking that it is bold of her to say that. But you know what? It makes people feel good. I am not the only person Helen has reached out to in this way.

I said, “I love you, too, Helen, and we can let go of the fear of saying it more often!” She told me how she says “I love you” to strangers. Then she made a fist with her hand and patted her heart twice, then pointed with an extended second digit. I laughed and thought that she was so cute for making “gang signals” about love! But Helen wasn’t being silly. She was being utterly honest.

She said, “Spread love. Pay it forward. Do something nice for someone who is not expecting it, and watch them light up with joy.” What an amazing soul! Thank you, Helen!

Christine Beaudry is another Palmer employee I love to see. Christine works at the front desk inside the AHC. She is the first person many people see when they walk into Palmer.

Whenever I see Chris, she warms my heart because she is so willing to help anyone and everyone. It is her job to stay at the information desk and help guide visitors, but she does more than that. She is a connector. You are always greeted with a smile, and her willingness to go out of her way is so amazing!

Before we give campus tours, we Campus Guides check in at her desk. I love to see her when I have a tour to give. Thank you, Chris!

Talk about two women working at Palmer that are making a difference!

As for me, at the moment I am on a break from class. On Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:20 a.m, all students in all ten trimesters get a break. It’s campus-wide.

Whoops! I just remembered! I have to get to a room for thoracolumbar. We are meeting to do a work up involving motion and static palpation, visualization, instrumentation and findings so that we can get X-rays of our spines. Then we can practice adjusting each other in sixth trimester.

Love it! Gotta go, though! Later, gators!

Kaileigh Strath
6th trimester student, Davenport Campus

There’s always too much to do at National Boards time!

Let’s talk about what is on everyone’s mind right now: BOARDS! It’s National Boards time again here at Palmer College of Chiropractic. What does that mean exactly? Well, since it is the September Boards, we are talking board reviews and classes all day. Oh, and did I mention that we are n the middle of midterms?

I am currently in my seventh trimester, which is the trimester in which you first get to start seeing patients in the CHC (Clinical Health Center).  I have been seeing patients for about three weeks now, and I am still getting the hang of how the whole clinic system works. Now I am studying for boards, too!

National Boards are something that every chiropractic student across the nation has to take, unless you plan on practicing in Canada. (Then you would take Canadian Boards). There are four parts to Boards, plus a board in physiotherapy (we like to call it PT).

You will take Part I after your first year. Then it’s up to you to decide how you take the rest.  I will be taking Part II and PT in just a few short weeks. What does this mean for me? Board review all this week. Sigh. This means class from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. every day this week, then clinic from 3:45 to 5 p.m.-ish working with patients. Then I will be in board review from 5 to 10 p.m. at night. On top of that, I have tests this week that I need to study for, too! Let’s just say that I am ready for the next few weeks to be over so that I can finally breathe again. Well, at least until scores are posted in six weeks!

Devan Lysen
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

A well-deserved and much appreciated break

Although I love going to class and learning several new things on a daily basis, I am always excited to enjoy a weekend away. I genuinely feel that it is important to maintain a life with family and friends outside of Palmer. Palmer is great about scheduling short breaks throughout the trimester by acknowledging important days and holidays with a day off from class.

After a busy week of testing, the Labor Day holiday was great for de-stressing.  My family and I planned a trip up to Okoboji Lake in northern Iowa for boating, swimming, kayaking and good food.

Though my pre-Labor Day week felt test-heavy, Palmer’s professors typically are great about spreading out our exams and being courteous of other scheduled exams.  Rarely do you have more than one to two exams in a day. As long as you stay on top of the material as opposed to cramming, it’s not bad.  After the first trimester, I got into a good schedule of keeping up with the material and then putting a strong focus on specific test three to four days before the exam.  This has allowed me to be successful when taking exams without getting test anxiety from cramming.

Jennifer Katzer
4th trimester student, Davenport Campus